December 2017

A Vision for the Future of Education Research

What does it mean to do education research in today's unique political and social environment, in which the United States faces rising inequality? Na'ilah Suad Nasir, president of the Spencer Foundation, addressed her vision for the future of education research in a special lecture hosted by the Institute for Policy Research and School of Education and Social Policy on November 14 at Northwestern University. MORE

Research and Working Papers

Faculty Spotlight: Robin Nusslock

Psychologist and IPR associate Robin Nusslock strives to understand the relationship between the brain and mental and physical well-being, whether by examining how emotion guides our decisions or by developing a "brain stress test" to determine risk for psychiatric illness. MORE

It Is Time for a 'Rooney Rule' for Teachers

Court-ordered hiring guidelines in Louisiana provide an important lesson about how to diversify the teaching profession, according to IPR social policy experts CC DuBois (SESP '17) and Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, IPR's director. MORE

Bridging the Gaps

Colleges have traditionally been targeted to high-income and high-achieving students, but now, nontraditional students enroll at increasingly higher rates. A new book by IPR education researcher James Rosenbaum examines how community colleges can help these students succeed. MORE

Battling "Incredible Certitude" in Science Reporting

In an era of questioning of all facts, it is more important than ever to face up to and report uncertainty when communicating policy analysis and scientific research, IPR economist Charles F. Manski explained in a National Academy of Sciences lecture. MORE

IPR Working Papers

Political Protesting, Race, and College Athletics: Why Diversity Among Coaches Matters (WP-17-11)

James Druckman, Adam Howat, and Jacob Rothschild

How do coaches view student-athletes' political protests? The researchers surveyed 873 Division I and Division III coaches at NCAA schools. They find that African-American coaches exhibit greater support for protests and are more likely to believe protests reflect concern about the issues, rather than attention-seeking behavior. The researchers note that greater diversity among coaches would lead to more varied opinions about the politicization of student-athletes.

Survey Measurement of Probabilistic Macroeconomic Expectations: Progress and Promise (WP-17-10)

Charles F. Manski

Manski describes research on three subjects that should be of direct concern to macroeconomists: expectations for equity returns, inflation expectations, and professional macroeconomic forecasters. He also describes work that questions the assumption that persons have well-defined probabilistic expectations and communicate them accurately in surveys. Last, Manski considers the evolution of thinking about forming expectations in macroeconomic policy analysis. To make progress, he urges measurement and analysis of the revisions to expectations that policymakers and others make following occurrence of unanticipated shocks.

How Incivility on Partisan Media (De-)Polarizes the Electorate (WP-17-07)

James Druckman, Samuel Gubitz, Matthew Levendusky, and Ashley Lloyd

Partisan media—typically characterized by incivility—has become a defining element of the American political communication environment. The researchers outline a theory about why incivility on partisan outlets shapes attitudes, and how those effects depend on both the source and the audience. They test their argument using a population-based survey experiment, finding that incivility depolarizes partisans when it comes from a same-party source—such as MSNBC for Democrats or Fox News for Republicans. When it comes from the other-party source, however, it polarizes.

Read more IPR working papers

Policy Research Brief:  Preventing Wage Theft

IPR political scientist Daniel Galvin analyzed wage-and-hour laws and minimum wage violations in all 50 states, finding that workers are significantly less likely to be paid below the minimum wage in states with stricter laws against wage theft. MORE

Faculty Awards & Honors

IPR health psychologists Edith Chen and Greg Miller were invested as the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Chair and the Louis W. Menk Chair, respectively, in the Department of Psychology on November 28.

IPR developmental psychologist Lindsay Chase-Lansdale became Northwestern's Vice Provost for Academics on December 1.

Read about other faculty awards

Faculty in the Media

U.S. News & World Report

Reality has but one side

Political scientist and IPR associate Jordan Gans-Morse argues that a national, bipartisan strategy is needed to protect U.S. cybersecurity.


Research refutes theory linking family income, genetics, brain development

An analysis by IPR education economist David Figlio, IPR postdoctoral fellow Krzysztof Karbownik, and Stanford sociologist Jeremy Freese finds that the influence of genes and environment on cognitive development are the same for everyone, regardless of socioeconomic status.

The New York Times

We're sick of racism, literally

Perceived discrimination takes a physical toll, according to research by IPR developmental psychobiologist Emma Adam. With former IPR graduate research assistant Jennifer Heissel, IPR faculty adjunct Jennifer Richeson, and others, she finds that racial discrimination affects levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

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